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LGA Calls for Junk Food Advertising Ban Near Schools

March 18, 2016

The Local Government Association (LGA) have called for new powers to ban junk food advertising near schools, nurseries, and children’s centres. Current rules mean that councils need to apply to the Secretary of State and carry out a public consultation before they can control advertising near schools.

Councillor Richard Kemp, deputy chair of the LGA Community Wellbeing Board agrees local authorities need more flexibility to act. “We are not saying every council should be using these powers, but it gives local authorities the option of working with parents and schools to ban junk food advertising near schools, nurseries and children centres, if they feel it can make a difference and improve children’s health in their town or city,” he said. “We urgently need to take action to tackle child obesity, and giving councils powers to control marketing of junk food, which is one of the major causes of this epidemic, will help us to tackle the issue.”

The move comes after Chancellor George Osborne announced the introduction of a so called ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks from 2018 in this week’s budget statement. The government is set to publish its long awaited obesity strategy later this year. In the meantime, the Committee of Advertising Practice are set to kick off a public consultation on proposed controls on junk food advertising aimed at children online, in the press and at billboard and poster sites.